19 July 2010

If you can't say something nice...

... post a photo, AND.... attempt to be helpful by posting a couple of tips.

Yesterday, took Lil to lunch in Shadyside at the Walnut Grill while boys were at a gymnastics party and Olivia was at Longue Vue Country Club with friends (and speaking of country clubs and helpful tips, did you know that Churchill Country Club is offering, in addition to other dining and limited memberships, a GOLF membership? So.... any golfers - and I know my family is full of them - who want to save some money can check it out! :-). She was good - did not run from us or have a tantrum once. She sat and chatted and ate salad, chicken and fries. She drank orange juice and colored on the paper table cloth like a champ. My tip? The Walnut Grill now has a market salad option which allows you to make / customize your own salad. It was good. Nice option. Is it me or does the atmosphere always feel a little tense in there (and only OK food - come on)? Anyway, lunch was good - it was cool - close to where we needed to get our boys, etc.

American Vietnam Veterans picking up some furniture from us today (AMVETS and other organizations seemed to have their neighborhood trucks full for a couple of weeks, but... these guys were available). A lot of organizations no longer accept furniture or baby items, but they do, and...scheduling a pick-up is super easy. If you need to get rid of some stuff, check them out. I put out several IKEA beds and mattresses today with the pick-up slip that I printed myself taped to them. I have a pre-printed tax receipt. I'm set. Look into it.

Tired today - the humidity in the house keeps Lil and Milo up and restless all night - plus I had to get up super early, navigate rush hour traffic and drive to the other side of town to retrieve Olivia from a cousin sleepover. I rushed her to "mandatory" swim practice that others blew off (prepping for championships, which we are so proud she made again), but... she's conscientious, and I know she's glad she went. Had to hear more family craziness - had to put up with fighting little ones (who, in an odd twist, would have actually slept in today instead of getting up at 5:50 am on the dot - awesome). I'm done. Got the kiddies donuts - trying to grab coffee and sneak in a workout. Also trying to deal with a brand new broken curtain rod, a trail of broken toys, muddy footprints on a toilet seat and juice spilled all over the dining room table and floor. Good times.

Really - E, M & L are so stirred up today. Reluctant to play outside due to gray clouds, they are feisty, angry, grabby, argumentative. I mean, close to tears myself, I just yelled and sent them upstairs where they are now biding their time on the third floor stairs and, you guessed it, have begun fighting again. I'm not exaggerating - 30 seconds didn't go by this morning without tears, a complaint, a scream, an argument, a slap from one to the other. It's awful. I feel like a crazy person who has lost control. I always feel like they hate me and like I've ruined all their fun when I have to deal out semi-harsh punishments. I've tried to be positive this morning. I've tried to be gentle - offer things to do - read books - fix breakfast..... And... I know that some of us have discussed this at length before (you know who you are morning out and gymnastics pals - remember the one conversation that started... "oooo - I really yell - I mean really yell"? - and it wasn't me who started it, my beloved sisters in "end of the rope" frustration). In the throes of trying to provide food, cleanliness and warmth to our families of multiple little ones (three 5 and under in this house) with, in my case and others, a middle schooler / high schooler with specific needs thrown in AND a busy, hard to reach hubby (at times) AND my own maintenance like teeth brushing, dressing myself and eating now and then to sneak in, sometimes raising our voices to restore order becomes necessary (though, the guilt will linger and linger - THOUGH my last reminder yell, complete with "crazy eyes", really did get them playing peacefully together AND using time productively. Go figure.). So.... like the headline states.....

See ya. Hope you're all having better days than I am.

Oh yeah - photo: Me - looking pretty damn cheerful for the life I lead these days (snark, snark, snark). Actually, I was on my way out for the night. And.... you know I'm only half serious - was just telling y'all how lucky I am the other day.... Let's go revisit that post..... Oh wait - or here is me yesterday with some of my fave high schoolers and Lil ;-).... And... since we are glancing at photos, in a related note (and my last tip of the day), I am simultaneously testing acne and aging treatments for my skin. On the first leg of my anti-aging analysis, but... have gushed before about Neutrogena's "on the spot" acne treatment, and... still am. Cheap and effective; I love it! Will report back on other .... the "look and feel younger stuff". Can say now, however, that in informally "testing" toothpastes across the board regarding whitening, fighting tarter and strengthening the enamel (remember, I am anal about my teeth), I am having success with Colgate's sensitive / enamel strengthening item (I'm a teeth grinder at night - hmmmm. what gave me away? Can anyone say "high-strung"? ;-).

In closing... I have to ask... So do you yell? Do you? Does it help? Does anything else help? Can't believe I'm asking, but I am :-). And, for the record, to appease everyone, my first reaction was to cancel my workout - NOT cook the elaborate dinner I have planned... in lieu of stopping to play and / or find an activity to make them all "like" me again. BUT - isn't that a bad precedent to set? I mean, there are days for that BUT there are also days in which things need to get done or Mommy needs a bit of a break. Right? Please weigh-in :-).


Sue said...

I yell. I hate it because I don't like how I sound - as in, out of control.
Try STOP and NO in a firm voice, instead (?)
I'm also a fan of "work it out". I was tired of being the ref and once they realized I wasn't going to get involved things got a lot calmer. :)

Sherri said...

I know.... intensely dislike that out of control feeling,.... AND sound. Today - though - I just don't know. Nothing is working. They are on TURBO mean, and they won't stop bothering me about the strangest, most trivial things. I am worn out and REALLY upset. I got to the gym - hit the treadmill - and started to cry (I think they were surly in the daycare there too - my greatest fear is that, one day, they won't take them back :-(. There seems to be no end in sight. I separated them - strapped into carseats - in the van, and Milo somehow pulled his seat way over to Enzo's - almost ripped the seatbelt to get to him for yet another fight - THEN Lil did that odd, slow 2 year old run - away from me, picking up speed, in the parking garage! Helps to know we've all been there.

Kim said...

Okay, here to add my two cents for whatever it's worth...I'd like to meet a mom of multiple young ones that doesn't lose it at least on occasion! An old neighbor of mine that had 4 kids (oldest was 6!) gave good advice once that I always remembered. She said to expect your kids to do the wrong thing because that is what they do a lot of the time and they require constant teaching of the right thing to do. If we approach it like this, then we aren't so disappointed by their wrong behaviors. I find it much easier to keep my cool now that mine are at the age you can reason with them (although, I still have my days). When I feel my blood pressure rising now, it is usually because we are trying to do too much and we need to scale back on our schedule. Hang in there and remember the whole house quiet time! Even if you get 30 minutes to yourself, it can do wonders! :)

Sherri said...

I have begun attempting the 30 min. of quiet time a day. We don't always get to it, though, but are working on it. I think doing too much does cause some behavioral issues. Unfortunately, some of Olivia's sports and activities do warrant dragging the little ones with me ... constantly.... and THAT is frustrating - OR - cutting a fun activity short to participate in a carpool or something. I've heard other mothers with older and younger kids complain about the "gap". I will take yours and your friend's advice and try to look at all these issues as teaching opportunities. Marcello is actually much better at that than I am (i.e. quick to point out how little they are or don't know about certain situations, etc.). Patience, patience, right?